I spent a lot of time and effort this year wishing for a white Christmas. Environment Canada kept waffling on whether it would be or not. I think the last statistic I read before Christmas said there was a 79% likelihood of one, but it was looking dicey right up to Christmas. But my wish came true. Not only did we have a few cm of snow two days before, but we also had snow on Christmas Day. Wonderful!
I’ve been living in fear that the temperatures would warm above zero Celsius and that all this beautiful white stuff would melt away. But between last night and today, we have been assured more scenic winter wonderlands. A snow alert issued yesterday afternoon translated into several cm of snow and teleworking from home due to the lousy driving conditions at 5am this morning. I worked through my lunch today so that I could finish a few minutes early and take the camera out in the backyard to play with some winter landscape shots. We have a large beaver pond in our backyard and it delivers some of the nicest landscapes, in all kinds of weather.
Here is a shot from this afternoon. I just love the way the wet, sticky snow piles up on the hanging tree branches. It turns the landscape into a virtual monochrome, except for the dark greens of the hemlocks and the few rusty, brown maple and beech leaves still tenaciously hanging on to their branch tips. I played with this image on Nik’s Colour Efex Pro 3 to create a dreamy, surrealist effect. I used the Midnight filter and then exported the image into Photoshop CS4 to brighten it a bit and bump up the reds.
So now you know why I wished so hard for snow. Snow creates some of the most beautiful landscapes. Depending on ambient light levels, the kind of snow (wet vs. powdery), the amount, effects of wind, and a myriad of other factors, a snowy landscape can be truly beautiful. In my eyes, it beats the dreary browns of November.
I know a lot of people these days, even around here where we grew up with lots and lots of snow, dislike winter, snow and cold. I just can’t understand that. The beautiful landscapes of winter are worth the cold and the inconveniences winter brings. And frankly, would spring be as rejuvenating and as welcome if we did not have the harsh weather of winter for contrast? I suspect not. Enduring a snowy and cold winter makes us appreciate the burst of life and colour that spring brings with it. And well, rather than sit indoors and complain about the snow and cold, get out and enjoy it! Put your Sorrels on, grab your warm, puffy jacket, your tuque, mitts, and go out to play. Whether it be x-country skiing, snowshoeing or something else – with our without camera – get out and enjoy the beautiful snowy landscapes while you can.